Thursday, November 29, 2007

Odds and Sods, Bits and Bobs

I finally took the plunge. I cracked the case on my dormant and dusty pc to try and work on the faulty hard drive. Now I know why I waited so long...

Needless to say, it's not going well. Not only does the drive not register as a peripheral (connected by USB to my, so far, trusty laptop) but I tried to install the brand new hard drive that I purchased over three months ago and that has become a struggle.

I'm starting to believe that there are 'time bombs' installed on all computers that are sold today. After a randomly determined time - say, anywhere between one to four years - there is a command that is triggered and the machine melts to shit in some fashion or another. With my last few machines, it's been like clockwork.

I'm about ready to take the hard drive to a data-recovery expert, pay the ridiculous fee, and get whatever data I can from it... and then, as mentioned in a previous post, smash the thing to bits with a hurley. This is bullshit.


It's official : Knobcast has a nice, new permanent home. There have been two new episodes posted since last mention, with the final episode of Season 1 upcoming this weekend. It's been fun. Check it out and let us know what you think.


It's "that time of year" again... the Holidays. Yipee. I could go on and on about everything I dislike about it all. Maybe in a future post. One thing I do enjoy is seeing all the houses festooned with holiday lights. Not the garish, over-the-top nonsense but the simple, classic, understated stuff.

Tastefully appointed houses with just the right touch are the ones that really get my attention. I have no patience for inflatable Santas and snowmen; colored lights haphazardly tossed onto bushes and trees; entire yards covered in plastic reindeer replicants... Enough.

All you need is simple, white lights in the windows, a classic wreath, and a spotlight highlighting it all. That's it. Maybe a symmetrical string of lights strategically placed on a fence or outlining the house.

Maybe I'll do a photo exposé of my favourite houses in the neighborhood. That sounds like a good weekend project. Beats going to the mall, that's for sure.


The real estate market is supposedly still leveling off, meaning the prices should be returning to normal. However, that's all relative to what you can afford and the area of the country in which you live. To save you doing the math, it's not easy up here in the northeast on a single income.

What doesn't help is watching the real estate programs and seeing the 'difficult' choices the first-time buyers have to make. Ohhh, a four bedroom, two bath colonial for $280K is just too much... errr, whot!? Yah, if you're in friggin' Tennessee...

I know the cost of living differs wildly throughout the U.S. but it ain't easy watching these shows and seeing some of the available houses - and knowing there's nothing of the sort available for miles (hundreds) in my area. It's brutal.

But... it appears the landlord has taken 'my' house off the market for the winter (so I'm safe for a few months, I hope). Probably a wise idea. A better idea would be to realize the thing is priced about $100K too high. But I'm not complaining right now. Suits me for the time being.

There's no guarantee but it looks like the next year or so might open up some opportunities for me to purchase something. I've recently seen a house that has some promise, about 20 minutes from where I currently live. It probably won't be 'the one' but the fact that it is plausible is somewhat encouraging.

All I want is a house with good structural integrity, no impending, high-cost repairs, in a decent location... that's it. Is that too much to ask? Probably. Hey, you never know.